Posts tagged asylum seekers
ACTION: Tuesday 16 April @ 11am
RELEASE THE ASIO POLITICAL PRISONERS
The Minister for Immigration can release these people.
Meet at Brendan O’Connor’s electoral office:
13-15 Lake Street, Caroline Springs
27 refugees, all indefinitely detained because of ‘adverse’ ASIO assessments are on the 8th day of a hunger strike at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) in Broadmeadows. 56 refugees plus children detained with their parents, have been given refugee status but are imprisoned indefinitely on the basis of ‘adverse’ ASIO assessments.
A new review process is expected to take months and leave ASIO and the Immigration Minister with the final say. New statements of reasons given to refugees by ASIO are a joke, they are a few lines long, and provide no evidence for ASIO ‘beliefs’, or any reason why these refugees would be a threat if released. The refugees have already been held for periods of up to 4 years, and do not know whether they are ever going to be released. They are desperate for a resolution “Four years is more than enough, let us be free. Death is better than live hopelessness” reads one of their banners “We are very very innocent” reads another.
“There is no legislation that says refugees with ‘adverse’ ASIO assessments must be detained, this is a decision of the Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor, who has the power to release all these refugees today” said Sue Bolton for the Refugee Advocacy Network
“The Refugee Advocacy Network calls for the immediate release of all refugees with ‘negative’ ASIO assessments.”
For more information ring Sue Bolton on 0413 377 978 or Pamela Curr 0417 175 075
All 27 of the strikers in detention at Broadmeadows have been assessed as genuine refugees. That means that the Immigration Department acknowledges that they faced persecution in Sri Lanka. But they can’t be allowed into the community because they have received adverse assessments from ASIO.
What do these assessments say? The refugees don’t know. They are not permitted to see the accusations against them, nor can they appeal. Though they have been charged with no crime, they now face detention without end. “Australia’s Guantanamo isn’t offshore: it’s in Melbourne”, Jeff Sparrow
immigration detention is incredibly disgusting but I wish people would stop saying things like “asylum seekers are not criminals! don’t lock them up!” because like, you think everyone in prison got a fair trial? or a trial at all? a lot of people in prison are just waiting to be tried, often for months on end. a lot of people are in prison because they’re mentally ill, or physically sick, or homeless, and some clueless judge has decided they’re best off in jail, because prison reform has gone hand in hand with prison expansion and the end result is that prisons have absorbed a lot of the duties of the welfare state. you think people in prison got there purely through their own selfish choices? you think they’re not dealing with the effects of racism, colonialism, capitalism, war? it’s the same businesses running prisons and immigration detention faculties, the same governments granting contracts. seeking asylum is not a crime, it’s true. would it be better if it was? would that make you feel better about the state of justice in Australia? would it be better if asylum seekers were locked up indefinitely waiting for a trial? better than if they were locked up indefinitely waiting for an answer on an asylum claim?
anyway other people (e.g. cross border collective) have been saying this better, for longer, I’m not saying anything new, I’m just feeling particularly harrowed by the interconnection of everything terrible today